Be your own parent- Thoughts on staying productive and feeling good when you have an irregular schedule

I’m writing this blog post as I am stretching, watching my puppy at the dog run, relistening to an audio book.

Now that I am out of a normalized schedule and I’m doing freelance work, it is up to me to set my schedule. As the lines of work and personal time and space blur, these are the things I have been doing to be efficient, and to help me relax when I need to.

1. Know when to multitask and when to concentrate

The tasks that I described at the beginning are all low pressure. Once I am in my position I can hold it. Max is a beautiful copper blur. My writing is for fun. And I’ve listened to the book once already so it’s nice to hear the points again, even if I’m not paying attention every second. I do stop to watch the dogs a lot….

My beautiful baby trying to take a stick from bigger dog… he did it! Mind over matter.

On the other hand I couldn’t even stand to have my AC on when trying to compose an important email yesterday. I needed complete silence to fully concentrate.

15 minutes of concentrated work is more valuable to me than an hour of distracted work.

2. Have a puppy (aka a reason to take a walk outdoors for the typical introvert)

On days that I need to get work done at home I could happily stay in my apartment all day. My puppy gets me up and out of the house for a much needed walk, especially since it is so beautiful out right now. The fresh air and movement is always refreshing.

3. Keeping a clean environment

You know that feeling when you need to get something important done and suddenly you have a huge urge to clean everything? That’s me everyday. Since I do a lot of work from home, my apartment *is* my work environment. Mess is distracting, and for this reason I try to keep a dust free, scrubbed environment. “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo really helped me declutter.

I love audiobooks if you haven’t caught on…

4. Not looking like a bum at home.

No one else would know I stay in my pajamas all day but me. However, I find the act of changing into *nicer* comfier clothes that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen in helps me get my energy in the right place to work.

Shameless self plug that my handmade tango clothes are so comfy I actually wear them at home (minus the shoes and the pool). Stay tuned for more details!

5. Lots of hair masks.

Since I am home, I can walk around with coconut oil in my hair and not look crazy. I never miss a chance to moisturize. This is the kind of easy multitasking I was talking about.

6. A new library card!

I used to spend hours in the library when I was little, but somewhere along the way I stopped. Recently I got a new library card and I am taking advantage of the audiobooks I can download onto my phone for free! Some more popular books take weeks, but if you don’t mind the wait it is absolutely free to use!

I use Libby for audiobooks and SimplyE for ebooks.

7. Skillshare is so amazing I added it to this list.

I finally bit the bullet and subscribed this morning (now yesterday morning when this goes up hehe). It is an online platform that offers classes in tons of different subjects in a monthly subscription format. I already have hours of courses saved to listen to, and took three pages of notes on my first course.

8. Listen to YouTube videos/ audiobooks/ podcasts instead of music

When I am home I always have a podcast or YouTube video running in the background. I like to listen to audiobooks when I am cooking and commuting. I listen to music when I am dancing or working out, so when I am home and connected to WiFi I prefer to learn as much as possible.

9. Know when silence is best

If I wanted to I could listen to audiobooks all day and never make it through all of the hours of content available to me. Nowadays it is rare to find silence. I make it part of my daily (okay, maybe 5/7 days of the week…) routine to fit in a yoga class, and go a little early to mediate. Keeping my body and mind healthy is essential to my wellbeing.

10. Incorporating animal products again.

I struggle to keep on weight, and one skipped meal can drop me a few pounds. At 5’4” I don’t like when I get to 102lbs. Reincorporating pasture raised eggs has been helping me to reach my calorie intake goals on a plant based, wheat free diet. Of course with the occasional cookie because I’m not crazy but wheat (not gluten) allergies are a real thing. Pesticides are the worst. I also use grass fed ghee for cooking.

11. The best $40 ever spent- unlimited rentals for yoga

I used to drag around a mat and three towels plus a change of clothes and toiletries every time I went to hot yoga. The $40 upgrade (to a grand total of $160/month) actually makes me more motivated to go. I don’t have to carry around my weight in supplies. I don’t mind doing two classes in a row, because clean towels yay!! Plus, now that it’s even *more* expensive gives me another reason to get off of my butt and go. Hey, not every reason has to be an enlightened one.

No one is coming to tell you to get up off of the couch. No one is going to tell you to go out and exercise. No one will tell you not to eat a bag of Oreos for dinner. When you accept that you need to give yourself a little push, you will unlock your potential.

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